Baar, 03.03.2023

A (missed) lunch cost him CHF 200

A car park in Baar has been a regular topic of discussion: many people who have been fined for parking there feel they are being treated unjustly, while the landowner and the company that is responsible for monitoring the parking area reject this. An impasse!

With regards to the cuisine in the restaurant, the tenor of the Google reviews is clear: you can always eat well at the ‘My Oriental Cuisine’ Asian restaurant in Baar. The reviewers are just as clear about the parking situation there, however. 19 comments can be found under the keyword "parking", 18 more under "fines". Most of them are rated with one out of five stars. And the comments are, and there’s no other way to put it: "ugly".

For example, one Google user describes how he had parked in the restaurant's customer car park to have lunch. After noticing that the restaurant was closed, he left his car to buy a kebab from the nearby kebab shop. A few days later, he received a parking fine of CHF 120 from the municipality of Baar and, shortly afterwards, an administration charge bill for another CHF 80 from the Unisecur company in Kollbrunn. He had thereby "spent CHF 200 on a lunch that didn’t even take place". Another user claimed that he had just used to parking space to turn his car, and received a fine together with photos that showed he had been in the parking space for a total of 17 seconds!

Restaurant operators reject the blame
It is one of many similar descriptions in the review column. There is talk of "meticulous detective work", "lost customers" and "bad business practices". The restaurant owners simply apologise via the review column. They state that they are not the ones handing out the fines: it is the owner of the property, who doesn’t want the parking spaces on the private property to be used illegally.

According to Zug Map, the parking spaces belong to Immartis Immobiliengesellschaft AG, which is based in Zurich. The president of its board of directors did not want to see his name in the newspapers. We have therefore referred to him as “Philipp Suter”.

Employees have been threatened
When asked how the video surveillance came about in the first place, he has the following to say: "The parking spaces that are rented to the restaurant, to other owners of business premises and to residents were very often occupied by third parties." The tenants insisted that they wanted to reserve the parking spaces for themselves.

The parking spaces were originally checked by the employees of Immartis Immobiliengesellschaft AG, who then issued fines using the "Blöckli" they had received from the municipality of Baar. "But that involved a lot of personnel costs," says Philipp Suter. Moreover, after a while, no one wanted to do this any more, because the employees "were being insulted or even threatened by the parking violators". The Unisecur company was thereby commissioned to monitor the parking spaces, since when the situation has improved considerably.

The restaurant has made its own signs pointing out the situation. Nevertheless, parking violators repeatedly receive heavy fines in this car park. Some of them see themselves unjustly punished
Several signs indicate the video surveillance of the car park
In the end, it is word against word: some of the people who were fined do not agree with their punishments, whereas the owner of the parking spaces says that they are spreading untruths           
            Photos: Mathias Blattmann

Philipp Suter was also asked about the claim of the man who apparently received a total fine of CHF 200 for parking for eight minutes. Philipp Suter does not believe that this amount is unproportionate. But he added: "The job carried out by the Unisecur company is not formulated in that way, and is not carried out in that way."

He accuses the reviewers on Google of spreading untruths. "I have already received many phone calls from people who have been fined, and I have checked their claims. But I don't do that anymore, because people simply brazenly lie to you." Guests of the restaurant are not reported, he added, and he can completely rule that out.

The subject annoys him, as he openly admits. "It's not just the parking violators. You see in the footage how people put their old coffee machines on the square and drive away again." Or even worse, "some pee in the car park or poop in the underground parking." People don’t seem to accept that this is private property.

He himself has no influence on the amount of the parking fines. The money does not go into the pockets of Immartis Immobiliengesellschaft AG, but into those of the municipality of Baar.

The standard charge is lower than it could be
According to Christof Gerig, head of the public services/security (Werkdienst/Sicherheit) department of the Baar municipality, the fine of CHF 120 is actually at the lower limit. This is made up of a parking fine of CHF 40 and an administration fee of CHF 80.

Paragraph 22 of the Upper Court Costs Ordinance (Kostenverordnung Obergericht) stipulates that a standard fine from CHF 100 to CHF 5,000 is required in the case of penalty order proceedings against adults. "The municipality has reduced the prescribed flat fee from CHF 100 to CHF 80, as this usually covers the costs," adds Christof Gerig.

And further: "We regularly get calls from people who want to complain." As the car park in question has a court-registered parking ban, the penalty is set by law. Anyone who does not agree with the decision can make an appeal to the municipality of Baar, which will then pass on the case on to the Public Prosecutor's Office. The public prosecutor would then examine the legitimacy of the report by Unisecur.

The administration fee will be higher in the future
Claudia Byell of Unisecur underlines Philipp Suter's statement that no restaurant visitors are reported: "If someone was a guest in the restaurant, and then quickly buys something in the surrounding shops, there will be no report”. If this happens, however, the affected person should contact the restaurant or Unisecur and a solution will be found. But she is also convinced: "90% of reviewers on Google are simply looking for excuses for their misconduct."

The managing director does not want to say how the CHF 80 administration charge is made up. But she announced that it will soon be increased to CHF 90. "Because of inflation and the ever-increasing administrative workload," she explains. Unisecur would only file an official complaint (Anzeige) if the CHF 80 fee was not paid, or if the licence plate was blocked for information.

Perhaps the restaurant itself should look for a better solution with the owner of the parking spaces, before their client base is completely lost due to these parking issues.